The Michigan Daily - Thursday, December 4, 2003 - 5A
Saudi police arrest Islamic militant for car bombing
Police arrest suspect allegedly
responsible for the bombing of a
housing compound located in Riyadh
RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) - With U.S. and British
diplomats warning of possible new terror attacks in Saudi
Arabia, police said yesterday they arrested a suspect in a
recent suicide car bombing and seized an arsenal - AK-
47 assault rifles, explosives, grenade launchers and a sur-
The arrest was the first in the bombing of the
Muhaya housing compound in the capital Riyadh on
Nov. 8, which killed 17 people and wounded more than
120. American and Saudi officials blamed the attack
the al-Qaida terrorist network of Osama bin Laden, a
The Saudi Interior Ministry, in charge of the king-
dom's police, issued a statement saying the suspected
Islamic militant was found hiding with the cache of
weapons and "pamphlets inciting terrorist acts." It said
the man was arrested a week ago but that his identity
would not be revealed to protect the investigation.
"Searches and investigations are continuing to arrest
all those related to this terror cell," the statement said.
The cache seized with the suspect included a SAM-7
surface-to-air missile capable of downing a plane at
low altitude; 20 high explosive hand grenades; 89 elec-
trical detonators; blocks of explosives; six booby-
trapped mobile phones; three computers; and Saudi
currency worth $354,000.
The arrest comes with tensions high in the Saudi
capital after attacks on foreign housing compounds in
May, the November attack. There has also been a
renewal in American and British warnings this week of
possible new attacks on housing compounds for for-
The U.S. Embassy warning issued Tuesday said one
compound in Riyadh has been under "active surveil-
lance" by terrorists and that other housing complexes
may also be targeted.
Spokeswoman Carol Kalin said the embassy had
barred its American employees and dependents from
visiting housing compounds in the Saudi capital
between 6 p.m. and 6 a.m. except on official business.
Yesterday, an Interior Ministry official criticized the
latest U.S. warning as mere speculation.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity,
said such warnings should be issued "in cooperation
with Saudi authorities or else they would lead to disor-
der and fear within those living in Saudi Arabia."
Saudi Arabia has been under pressure to show it is
more active in the battle against terrorism since the
Sept. 11 attacks, in which 15 of the 19 hijackers were
The pressure has increased with the bombings in the
Saudi capital since May.
The latest attack, in November, shocked many in the
Arab world because the complex attacked did not house
Westerners but Arabs and other Muslims working in the
Officials said the attack showed the terrorists would
even attack their own people to try to oust the Saudi
In that attack, two assailants - identified later as
Saudis - drove a jeep disguised as a police vehicle
into the compound and detonated its explosives.
The bombing was preceded by warnings of a pending
terrorist attack issued by the Australian, British and
U.S. embassies in Riyadh.
In May, Islamic suicide bombers attacked three com
pounds for foreigners in Riyadh, detonating vehicle
bombs that killed 35 people including the nine
After the attacks, security forces detained about 600
suspects, of whom nearly 200 were soon released.
The attacks generated considerable soul-searching
among Saudi intellectuals, with some newspaper
columnists saying the strict interpretation of Islam folb
lowed in schools and mosques could have contributed
to the militancy.
The government responded by announcing new
guidelines for mosque sermons and promising to allow
citizens to vote in municipal elections - a first in a
Alleged cannibal maintains
victims wanted to be killed
Radio hosts Greg Carson and Thayrone X from Kool 107 advertise the Food Gatherers food drive,
which takes place this week at Busch's Supermarket on Ann Arbor-Saline Road.
KASSEL, Germany (AP) - A
German computer expert -
charged with killing, dismembering
and eating the flesh of an Internet
acquaintance - made a detailed
confession at the opening of his
murder trial yesterday. The accused
said he was only doing what the
Armin Meiwes, 42, who lived in an
ancient former manor house in Roten-
burg, gave chilling testimony about
how his fantasy of finding someone to
become "a part of me" turned real.
Rotenburg is a central German town
about 20 miles southeast of Kassel.
Meiwes - a poised, slender man
wearing a dark suit and tie in court
yesterday - described matter-of-factly
how Bernd Juergen Brandes, 43, trav-
eled from Berlin to visit him in March
2001 in response to an Internet adver-
tisement that was seeking a young man
for "slaughter and consumption."
Meiwes said his fantasies began as a
child, when he felt lonely and imag-
ined killing and eating a "younger
Meiwes said he got more than 400
responses to his Internet solicitation
from people who wanted to join him in
acting out the fantasy.
He told the state court that he and
his victim chatted for several weeks
on the Internet. When they met, he
said, Brandes undressed.
"Now you can see my body. I
hope you'll find me tasty," Meiwes
quoted his visitor as saying. Bran-
des later said he wanted to be
stabbed to death after drinking a
bottle of cold medicine to lose con-
sciousness, Meiwes testified.
Meiwes said he stabbed his vic-
tim the next morning, believing he
was already dead, and recorded his
act on a videotape that is being
used as evidence. "I kissed him
once more, prayed and pleaded for
forgiveness," Meiwes told the court.
He said he froze some of the dis-
membered body parts, eating the
flesh over the following months,
and buried others in the garden.
Police who searched Meiwes' home
found human flesh and bones.
found Meiwes fit to stand trial.
Prosecutors say the killing was sex-
ually motivated and filed murder
charges, despite concluding that the
killing had the victim's consent.
Meiwes' attorney argued against mur-
der charges, saying the slaying was a
form of mercy killing. Meiwes faces life
in prison if convicted of murder.
"My friend enjoyed the dying, his
death;' Meiwes was quoted recently by a
Seeking to bolster his claim that
he acted according to the wishes of
others, Meiwes testified that he had
at least five other respondents to his
Internet ads at his home but let
them go - including a teacher who
offered himself as a "devoted pig
When Meiwes suspended him
from a pulley-and-rope device set
up in his home as part of the role
playing, the man got sick and left
after being freed, Meiwes said.
A man who said he wanted to be
beheaded also showed up, but Meiwes
said he sent him away because he was
too fat and not talkative enough.
Police tracked down and arrested
Meiwes last December after a stu-
dent in Austria alerted them to an
advertisement Meiwes placed on
the Internet seeking a man willing
to be killed and eaten.
Thirty-eight witnesses are slated
to testify in the trial. A verdict is
expected in February.
"Now you can see my body. I hope you find
- Armin Meiwes
German computer expert facing charges of cannibalism, quoting one of his
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